1. "Difficulty, irony, coolness"

    Speedboat is structured like a clothesline, stringing together a series of anecdotes and musings, each quite unrelated to the last, complete with gaps in between. But somehow, and this is a curious achievement, the epigrams and parables have a common thread beyond the book’s own binding. The consciousness that narrates them somehow manages to seem a complete person hovering above, if not represented formally in the jagged edges of the book.

    —From a review of Renata Adler’s Speedboat by Michelle Dean at B&N Review. She also writes, “It’s a strange thing that people don’t know the name Renata Adler anymore.”

    But we are starting to suspect that people will.

  2. Getting Gallant

    I laughed, but I was the only one to do so. No one else seemed to know that this was a bit of Canadian gallows humor.

    Over at Hazlitt, Michelle Dean goes to a tribute to (the still living) Mavis Gallant at KGB bar, helpfully explicating some references in Gallant’s stories that may be obscure to Americans and correcting Wallace Shawn’s pronunciation of “Raymond.”